Scholar and Vietnam War veteran Jerry Lembcke joins us to talk about propaganda, myths, and war, from Vietnam to Iraq September 9th, 2010
Talk Nation Radio for September 9, 2010
Scholar and Vietnam War veteran Jerry Lembcke joins us to talk about propaganda, myths, and war, from Vietnam to Iraq. Who betrayed U.S. soldiers during the Vietnam War era? Who is betraying them today? We discuss the similarities along with imagery in popular culture that now substitutes for real history lessons.
Produced by Dori Smith, Storrs, CT, syndicated with Pacifica Network TRT: 20:25 Download at Pacificaâs Audioport here and at Radio4all.net and Archive.org
Jerry Lembcke is a professor of sociology at the College of the Holy Cross. His 2010 book about actress Jane Fonda is titled, Hanoi Jane, War, Sex, and Fantasies of Betrayal. His previous book was, The Spitting Image: Myth, Memory, and the Legacy of Vietnam.
Since the 2004 swift boat propaganda campaign against then Presidential candidate John Kerry, U.S. political campaigns have seemed more like a review of Vietnam War era policies than current Iraq and Afghan War policies. The glaring absence of real debate about America s trillion dollar wars has left a void that the political right wing has stepped into just ahead of the 2010 Congressional vote. Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair is boosting fear and anger with appearances on US television. He is re-framing political discourse about Iraq, Afghanistan, and Iran, into an old-fashioned cold war era battle against Islamic extremism.
Former PM Tony Blair helped former President George W. Bush, former VP Dick Cheney and former Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld, sell the Iraq War. He is now doing the same thing for President Obama, arguing that if he were still in office he would likely attack Iran.
(Clips of Blair from the Charlie Rose show, PBS, and ABCâs interview by Christianne Amanpour.)
The cost of war against Iran today would be immeasurable, would likely kill millions according to global security experts. The general public is being denied real debate about the costs, truth about the motivations of those who are designing rhetoric about attacking Iran. And an additional cost could be the reinstatement of a Military draft. We review an era when the draft pulled in lots of different kinds of Americans, many of whom would eventually become peace activists like Jerry Lembcke.
The most important truth about the cost of the Vietnam War is that 58,159 US Military personnel were killed, over 303,000 were wounded, many suffered in Indochinese POW camps.
Four million Indochinese civilians perished during saturation bombing by US forces and in the ground warfare.
Jerry Lembcke has been trying to set the record straight about war in general, this era, and he is exposing a tactic of scapegoating peace activists like famed actress Jane Fonda. Just as with lies that were told about US soldiers being spat upon as they returned home, Fonda is blamed, peace activists are blamed, rather than the architects of the war itself. It is a rewriting of history to adjust our attention away from these grotesque U.S. policy blunders and atrocities.